What To Expect When You Are Unprepared To Launch A Kickstarter


Die Homer by Tyler J. Hutchison. Kickstarter Close Date 05/21/2015. Publish on 05/16/2015

I'm currently running a kickstarter called Die Homer, it's a retelling of the 1988 action thriller Die Hard starring cartoon characters I can draw from memory. I'm not a business guy, I suck at marketing, and I am not particularly savvy at social media… so why the hell is my kickstarter 200% funded? I have no idea, I just make comics. I'm probably the least qualified person to run a kickstarter. So here is my best advice on how to haphazardly run a kickstarter.

SHAMELESS PLUG: there are only five days of my kickstarter left – go check out Die Homer!

What to expect after you click the launch button on your kickstarter.

First of all, you are going to be real nervous – maybe even a little throw up in your mouth nervous. Do people like what you make? Will they hate it? Will anyone pay you money to do a thing you love doing? You are going to be in a vulnerable position and ask yourself a lot of self doubting questions. Don't give in, just drink some water, stay hydrated and try to keep all of your guts inside of your body where they belong. Also it's 4 am… why aren't you in bed?! Just go to bed already.

What to expect after you wake up.

It's 11:39 am. I tried to tell you to go to bed earlier, but would you listen? No. I digress. You check your phone and see that there are 35 new emails. Two of them are from Hotwire. Three of them are from Groupon – but the rest of the emails are all from Kickstarter! Don't panic. This is good. It means people like you. Set up a filter in Gmail to move all of your kickstarter New Backer emails to a separate folder – seriously DO IT NOW! Otherwise you are going to waste a lot of time constantly checking your phone every time you get an email in your inbox. Speaking of checking on things, when is the last time you checked your kickstarter page?

Kickstarter is so refreshing.

It is extremely gratifying to continually click refresh on your kickstarter page and see if the project total has increased. But here's a pro tip: DON'T. Ok… maybe just a little bit… on your first day – go ahead, enjoy yourself just a little tiny bit. But after that, STOP! Stop checking your kickstarter page every seven minutes. It's extremely agonizing to just stare at that number on screen – you might even start to think it is representational of your value as a person. It's not. Stop looking at it. Go outside.

What to expect when robots message you.

Your inbox will slowly fill up with messages from people claiming they can help promote your project for just $99 (or any number of price points). They all have a pretty similar pitch about having social media reach or being able to email your story to everyone in the press. You will be skeptical at first, but it's very enticing. Eventually you will give in and spend money on one that looks reputable. It's a mistake, don't do it! You won't see any results, you are better off googling the the following phrases: "Bleeding Cool submit story" or "Bleeding Cool contact."

What to expect when you try to social media.

You will really want people to tweet about your kickstarter. You'll wish they would just retweet your link. You'll want to ask your friends but you'll feel like you are being impolite, asking a big favor or putting people in an imposition. Seriously? Don't feel this way! – it's completely wrong – it's just twitter. Most people will happily retweet an important tweet for you especially if you add "please RT" to the end of it. Just don't make a big deal out of it.

What to expect when your kickstarter gets funded in three days!?

What the hell?! You didn't plan for this at all. You weren't even sure if you would manage to get funded. You just figured out exactly how much money you would need to accomplish your goal, ship things and pay kickstarter's fee. You didn't plan stretch goals, You didn't send out a press release, You didn't even make fancy charts and graphs explaining how rewards work!

You are getting a lot of attention for your project, but it is stagnating now because it is funded. People love stretch goals, you better scramble to come up with some more reasons for people to keep buying your book. Make stickers, people love stickers. Figure out a way to improve your finished product. Seriously this is going way better than expected maybe you can make books with a gold-pressed latinum cover.

Ok, ok, you are probably not going to make a million dollars on kickstarter, but please be more prepared for success than I was.

What to expect when you have five days left on your kickstarter?

You'll think about emailing the press directly, but you're pretty sure you paid a spam robot to handle it for you. You're probably not even going to think about directly contacting the press until there are nine days left on your kickstarter. As per usual you are doing a real haphazard job at running this ship. So why are you waiting? Just do it now. Get a press release prepared and send it out on the day you launch – or maybe even before you launch. I'm not an expert. Just please do a better job than I did. I am seriously terrible at understanding how press and media work. I spent so much of my life as a "do it yourself" kind of person that it never even occurred to me to ask the press if they would be interested in doing a story about my project. For instance: I'm trying to get a story published on bleedingcool.com right now so I can shamelessy promote my kickstarter project Die Homer but I have no idea if they will be interested. I really wish I had done this before I launched my kickstarter: Die Homer. Did I mention I am running a kickstarter? It's called Die Homer. You should really check it out.


Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1596671627/die-homer

Die Homer Home Page: http://diehomer.com/

Tyler's Homepage: http://tylersaurus.com/

Twitter @tylerjhutchison

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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